Unforgettable food and hospitality

Thailand’s Northeastern region, also known as Isaan, is a place of verdant rice fields, relaxing rivers and an intense cuisine made from ingredients grown in backyard gardens and dense forests. Settle into the locals’ slow-paced lifestyle and fish in the Mekong River, watch silk crafted by hand, splash in waterfalls and enjoy plenty of that famous Isaan food.

This four-day, three-night trip takes you to Chin’s home province, Ubon Ratchathani, to experience the best of this beautiful but overlooked slice of Thailand, which rubs shoulders with both Laos and Cambodia. Click here for photos of this tour.


First day

  1. Morning (or whenever you can arrive): Meet at the airport, train station or bus station in Ubon Ratchathani.
  2. Early afternoon: Cooking class and lunch with Chin’s Mum; this is a chance to experience the famous hospitality of Isaan’s farmers and the unforgettable food they prepare. You’ll also be shown around the on-site mushroom farm and organic garden.
  3. Late afternoon: Drive to Khong Chiam and check into hotel. On the way we’ll stop at a country fresh market to explore local ingredients like giant Mekong catfish, fermented fish sauce, grilled buffalo skin and red ant eggs.
  4. Evening: Soak up the scenery at the place where the Mekong River meets the Moon River, within sight of Laos, and enjoy a local dinner in this tranquil area.

Second day

  1.  Morning: Explore the morning market in the riverside village of Khong Chiam, then on to Pha Taem National Park to hike down a breathtaking cliff-side trail and view 3,000 year-old cliff paintings.
  2. Early afternoon: Lunch in a country restaurant and then tour the local waterfalls and other attractions.
  3. Late afternoon: Go to Sam Pan Bok to explore 3,000 mysterious holes in an expanse of rock and enjoy a boat ride on the Mekong River.
  4. Evening: Back to Khong Chiam for dinner and relax.

Third day

  1.  Morning: After breakfast, head to a tiny village for a boat ride and cooking with the local fishermen. Here we can also watch the Lao-speaking locals craft baskets for steaming sticky rice.
  2. Early afternoon: Drive back to Ubon town, followed by a lunch of authentic Isaan food in one of Ubon’s finest shops, then explore Ubon’s food-rich capital area.
  3. Later afternoon: Check in at hotel and relax for a couple of hours.
  4. Evening: Go to the night market in Warin Chamrap to explore more local food and have dinner.

Fourth day

  1. Morning: After breakfast, head to a tiny old village where the locals have crafted silk and brass products from scratch for over a century.
  2. Afternoon: After a lunch of delicious kuay chab yuan (a local specialty soup), part ways at the transport station of your choosing or return to Bangkok with us.

*Accommodation is typically provided by Velawarin Hotel and Tohsang Heritage Khongjiam. However, we’re open to changes based on guest preferences. In some cases, it may be necessary to stay at our backup lodgings if first choices are full.

This trip is a course in Isaan food, including:

  • Kuung ten (“dancing shrimp” salad; we can order “sleeping shrimp” if you prefer)
  • Laap muu (spicy pork salad with toasted rice — a signature Isaan dish)
  • Som tam buu pla raa (green papaya salad with pickled fish sauce and freshwater crab — another staple)
  • Goi kai mod daeng (spicy red ant egg salad — it’s delicious!)
  • Kai yang (Isaan-style grilled chicken)
  • Kuay chab yuan (Vietnamese-inspired noodle soup with locally made pepper-pork sausage)
  • Sour Isaan sausage with fresh ginger and chili
  • Sup naw-mai (bamboo shoot salad)
  • Gaeng hed (mushroom curry with locally produced aromatic herbs)
  • Om kai (chicken soup flavored with dill and other herbs)
  • Mok kai (chicken with banana flowers and spices steamed in banana leaf)
  • Grilled fish, fresh from the Mekong River
  • Fried silk worms, crickets and other bugs (if you dare!)
  • Fresh seasonal fruits
  • Thai desserts

*Vegetarians and those with other eating restrictions are welcome.

Days offered:
Every day, but may not be available if Chin is already booked on desired dates.

Meeting point and time:
Morning (preferably) on Day 1 at the airport, train station, bus station or another place of your choosing in Ubon Ratchathani.

If you need advice on arranging transport to the area, we are happy to provide it.

2 adults: 60,000 Baht (if staying together in one room at the lodgings that we typically use)
*For a quote on a larger group or solo traveler, please contact us.

Price includes:

  • All food and drink for the full duration (a few beer is fine but otherwise alcohol is excluded)
  • 4 days of food and culture tours in Ubon Ratchathani province
  • 3 nights of lodgings between Velawarin Hotel and Tohsang Heritage Khongjiam (or other lodgings as necessary) for guests and guide / driver
  • Transportation by private car for the duration
  • 2 boat trips
  • Local cooking experience
  • National park and other tickets where necessary
  • Small donations when visiting temples
  • Fees for guide / driver and others who assist during the tour
  • Emergency insurance for 2 guests (note: we are required to have this)

To inquire about a tour, please email us at chilipastetour@gmail.com.

***When inquiring, please answer the following:

  1. What is the date (or range of dates) that you would like to do the tour?
  2. If you would like to be covered by our insurance for free, what are the full names, ages and nationalities of every person in your group?
  3. Are you okay to meet at the meeting point or would like pick up at your hotel?
  4. Any special eating requirements — allergies, vegetarian, no pork, no spicy food, etc.?
  5. Have any special requests or comments?